On Monday, Darby and I celebrated our 9-monthiversary. I don't know why, but 9 months seems like a much bigger milestone than 8 months. Maybe it's because that's the length of time you're pregnant? I guess we could have called it, "Let's celebrate the fact that we didn't get pregnant on our honeymoon" day, but that's a little wordy. Anyway, I know we're still new to this whole marriage thing, but here are 9 lessons I've learned about marriage in the first 9 months:
1. Traditions matter. Darby and I have lots of little traditions. Every Sunday we go to AM Donuts before church. Every Monday, we watch Headlines on Jay Leno. Every day at lunch, we watch an episode of The Office or Friends. We just recently started walking to Peet's every Saturday morning to get 99 cent lattes. None of those things are a very big deal, but it gives us something to look forward to during the daily grind. I think people sometimes think that they'll start traditions once they start a family, but it's important to realize that just the two of you are a family, also.
2. When you have someone else sharing your bed, it's guaranteed to feel at least twenty degrees hotter at night.
3. Believe people when they say you have to plan dates when you're married. I always thought, "That's silly. We'll be spending so much time together after we're married." Imagine my surprise when I realized that every married person in the world actually knew what they were talking about! Darby and I spend more time together than most married couples, but it's easy to not really do anything. When we were dating, we'd go to the park, go to Starbucks, rent movies, go out to dinner. Now, we do a lot of sitting around the apartment. Our relationship is so much better when we actually go out, even if it's something cheap or free.
4. If you can, do the grocery shopping together. I enjoy shopping so much more when Darby's with me. Plus, he can help me carry everything into the house. Same thing goes for laundry. We both HATE doing laundry (especially since the dryers in the laundry room don't dry), but doing it together makes it slightly more bearable.
5. In general, save as much as you can, but splurge on vacations. This goes for single people, too, of course. On the two vacations we've taken (our honeymoon to Niagara Falls and Santa Fe), Darby and I have eaten at nice restaurants and gotten dessert and coffee, which we wouldn't normally do. It makes the vacation so much more fun, and I'd much rather spend money on a trip than just on a daily Starbucks or something.
6. Hang out with your girl/guy friends. I'm in a Book Club, Supper Club, and a Bunco group, all of which meet once a month. It's so fun to have "girl time," and I always come back home with more energy and eagerness to talk to Darby. Likewise, he really enjoys getting together with his guy friends. We're each other's best friends, but we definitely can't be each other's only friend.
7. The world really doesn't end if you go to bed angry. Although ideally I agree that conflict should be resolved as soon as possible, sometimes that just doesn't happen. So we can either spend all night fighting and getting more tired and emotional or we can go to bed, wake up, realize we were wrong, and apologize. I prefer the second option.
8. If you only have one bathroom, you better grab it the second you get home from a long car ride.
9. Be silly. I love making Darby laugh. I have no rhythm, so when catchy music comes on TV, I start dancing really crazily. Now, Darby requests "the dance," and he cracks up every time. Sometimes he laughs so hard that he starts laughing at his own laugh and crying. Then, I start laughing. There's a good 15 minutes of entertainment right there! Really, though, I love just having fun with Darby. It's great to know that he still loves me even when I'm making a fool of myself.